Trusted practice building tools
DOWNLOAD THE TASKY PRIVATE PRACTICE-BUILDING CHECKLIST
CALM THE OVERWHELM, HAVE A GAME PLAN, & GAIN CONFIDENCE!
So many people don’t take the leap into private practice because they don’t know where to start. This checklist and its accompanying resource list tell you exactly what you need to do to get going. We get into the specifics of why each item is important, provide suggestions for free & paid resources to make your practice run smoothly, and & in some reminders about why you are totally capable of having a successful private practice.
I’ve used a lot of different practice management solutions in the past. TherapyNotes is a huge time saver. I recommend getting a practice management system BEFORE you think you need one. You’ll need time to learn it (but don’t worry; it’s pretty intuitive.) It includes an online scheduling system, electronic health record with the ability to create templates, billing and remittance, and a credit card processor. It’s seriously all you’ll need for the management of your practice. It has also pretty interface, which matters to me.
Office Ally offers a number of services, but I’ve only used the free billing feature and it is awesome. I could literally bill each session in less than 30 seconds. There’s a video in my ebook showing how this works.
Email is usually only HIPAA compliant if you are paying for it. Some practice management systems like Therapy Appointment, have a secure email system. You can also check out Hushmail, which creates a HIPAA Compliant portal for you to email with clients. You can pay for a secure email through Gmail, but if your clients aren’t paying for a similar service, it’s not HIPAA complaint. That’s why your doctors use patient portals and why we should too. It’s only $9.99/month.
Vsee offers a HIPAA-compliant video conferencing service. It’s like Skype but more reliable and HIPAA-compliant. Please know the ins and outs of distance counseling (like for instance, you have to be licensed in the state the client is in while you are seeing each other) before venturing into that world.
Credit Card Processing
You can tell your initial clients that you only take cash or checks, but credit cards make their lives easier and don’t add too much to your bottom line. If you have a compatible smart phone or tablet, Square is a great service. This Square link will give you free processing on your first $1,000 in your first 180 days. Square is 2.75% per swipe or 3.5% + 15 cents per transaction for cards keyed in.
If you’re using a practice management system, building payment into your website, or want to leave your smart phone out of it, Stripe is integratable and you can click two buttons to process cards. 2.9% + 30 cents per transaction.
UPrinting has done my cards for me for years. Their customer service is stellar. I happily pay a few extra bucks for 16 pt cardstock.
You can build your own website! I have built websites on Squarespace and Wix, both are all drag and drop style websites.I prefer Squarespace because I like the cleaner look of the templates better and they have better SEO. Take the time to watch the tutorials on whatever site you choose to keep yourself from wanting to throw your computer out the window.
Hire It Out
If you would rather pay someone to build your website or set up the hard stuff for you to tweak so you don’t lose your mind/break your computer/hate your life, I can’t recommend Nikki Bonsol enough. You can check out her design services here. She’s also a pro at helping you “Write Brave” so potential clients connect with you from the moment they read your writing.
Open Path Psychotherapy Collective
If you are considering accepting a sliding scale, check out Open Path Psychotherapy Collective, a non-profit whose mission is to connect clients in need to therapists who can help at a reduced rate. I take sliding scale clients exclusively through this service and think they’re an awesomely ethical company who really wants the best for clients.